The new Run to Live Great programme by the Great Eastern Women’s Run finally kicked off yesterday morning. Find out here, how it all went for the 50 pairs of participants.
She has not liked running since young. But this year, 23-year-old Vivian Sng, an advertising executive, is taking on the ultimate challenge – by signing up for a 5km race.
Said Sng, “I really hate running so this is a big mental challenge and accomplishment for me to overcome.”
But she is not doing her running alone. Vivian is tackling the race together with her buddy, 25-year-old manager Serene Xin, who is also running a 5km race for the very first time. Both girls are determined to run a good race.
Said Xin, “Last time, we ran 4km and we were half dead by the end of it. But now we want to train up enough to do the full 5km without that much effort.”
Added Sng, “I am more nervous than excited because I do not know if I can finish the full 5km. Yes I know I can walk, but hopefully I am not the last one to complete the race!”
Running buddies Xin and Sng are one of the lucky 50 pairs of runners selected for the Run To Live Great programme. To enter, participants had to write creatively about why they should be selected for the programme.
A brand new initiative by the Great Eastern Women’s Run
A brand new initiative this year by the Great Eastern Women’s Run, this programme aims to encourage non-runners to take that first step towards a healthier and better lifestyle – by attending various training sessions, fringe activities and participating in the Great Eastern Women’s Run.
And one of these new runners envisioning a healthier lifestyle is 42-year-old admin executive Tam Mui Kiang. She said, “I don’t usually exercise. This is actually the first time that I am running. But I am feeling excited and I hope that the Great Eastern Women’s Run can spur me on to do many more races next year.”
Tam is taking part in the Run To Live Great programme together with her long-time friend of 15 years, Hoong Lian Eng, a 57-year-old senior accountant and a two-time participant of the 10km race at the Great Eastern Women’s Run – organised by HiVelocity Events Pte Ltd.
Welcoming the participants
The programme welcome ceremony took place yesterday at Scape.
At the start – to get to know each other – the participants played icebreaker games and later, they were also given invaluable tips from running experts. These included national sprinter Dipna Lim-Prasad and this year’s Sundown Marathon 21km winner in the women’s category, Mok Ying Rong.
Said Lim-Prasad, 23, on why she loves running, “I feel very empowered when I run. Even when I am sick, I feel like running. I can also run in my own time and it is independent of everything else.”
Mok, 20, agrees that running empowers and de-stresses her too, and also added that people of all shapes and sizes can take up running. She said, “Like most runners, I am not designed for running. I am short with plenty of fat, muscle and bulk.
“But these physical disadvantages have heightened the rewards because I need to put more effort into my running. So my results become more rewarding over time,” she added.
Social influencers added their star power to the event
Social influencers and fitness enthusiasts, such as Claire Jedrek, were also present to add their star power to the event – by giving running tips and taking part in the Run to Live Great programme.
Said Jedrek, a racecar driver and fitness enthusiast, “We will all make mistakes on our running journey. But you need to condition your body and start training as soon as possible, especially if you are doing long distances.”
Her views were echoed by fellow influencer, Chen Ming Ming, 33, who added, “I would advise a first-time runner to start training and not increase their mileage by more than 10 per cent every week.” Chen, who has been running for six years and completed races ranging from 10km to ultra marathons, will lend her expertise to pacing the runners at the Great Eastern Women’s Run event in November this year.
Fringe activities will be conducted
Throughout the next few months leading up to the race in November, some fringe activities will be conducted for the new runners to improve their confidence and fitness, and to get them to enjoy exercising. These will include training runs and kickboxing classes.
And the runners are definitely looking forward to these fun activities too. Said 58-year-old Serena Seah, an entrepreneur, “I was so excited to be selected for the programme and I think that what I am going to learn over the next few months will help me to complete my first 21km race.”
Added her daughter and running buddy, 24-year-old business analyst Elizabeth Teo, “I think that signing up as a mother and daughter team is unique because I think it is a good chance for us to bond using these activities. There are very few things that a mother and daughter can do together.”
Keen to give running a try
For 26-year-old civil servant Tracy Wong, who usually does dancing to stay fit, running is something that she is definitely keen to try out. She said, “I think it will help me to improve my stamina and will be good to supplement my dance activity.”
“This is my first ever time running but I have already been training by going to the gym and running on the treadmill,” she added.
Wong is taking part in the Run to Live Great programme with her friend Jessie Quek, 31, who is looking forward to having a running buddy this year.
Said Quek, who works in sales and marketing, “Many say that running is an individual thing and my friends usually don’t like running. But last year, I did the 5km run by myself. I am more excited this year, though, because there is someone sharing the same passion as me.”
Response to the programme was overwhelming
The response to the Run To Live Great programme had been highly successful, according to Colin Chan, the Great Eastern Life Chief Marketing Officer. He said, “Close to 500 people registered for the Run to Live Great programme.
“All types of people entered – ranging from those in their 60s to those who had overcome challenges and adversities in life to take up running.”
To take part, participants had to write, in not more than 100 words, why they should be selected for the programme and the 50 most touching stories had been picked.
All of the 50 pairs of successful participants had received $350 worth of goodies, including New Balance shoes and a Polar Loop activity tracker.